When working with XDCAM, FCP X performance worse than FCP 7? at DVinfo.net

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Old August 14th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #1
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When working with XDCAM, FCP X performance worse than FCP 7?

I have the feeling that FCP X has much more performance issues in working with XDCAM footage then the old FCP7.

If I work with XDCAM footage in FCP 7 (Quicktime Wrap, trough XDCAM Transfer, so NOT a transcode) I can make a multicam clip with 4 angles and have it play perfectly all the way trough to cut.
Sources are on a Firewire 800 7200rpm drive.

If I use the same drive in FCP X, on the same hardware with the same clips, and make a multicam-clip, I get dropped frames after a couple of seconds playing, which is a pitty because FCP X has much more flexibility in it's multicam features (changing the multicam-clip in the Angle Editor).
It seems ridicilous that I would have to convert every angle to Proxy Prores, if the old 32-bit FCP 7 can effortlessly do this.

It's not the first time I have been seeing this. When working with 3D clips one time a couple of months ago, I noticed much better performance in working in FCP 7 then FCP X when working with XDCAM EX clips. So much that I ultimately did my edit in FCP 7, because that could play the footage perfectly from the internal drive and work with it, while FCP X stuttered.

I hope the MXF support that Apple promised this year, is going to make things better...
Mathieu Ghekiere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2012, 06:54 PM   #2
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Re: When working with XDCAM, FCP X performance worse than FCP 7?

I'm not sure if it'll make any difference but have you tried importing with Sony's FCPX XDCAM EX plugin?
It's also just wrapping to .mov but there may be other things going on in metadata.

It's also possible your systems specs may make a big difference.
Running on a Core2Duo on OS 10.6.8 might make FCP7 look better than FCPX.
On the other hand a Quad Core i7 on OS 10.8 with 16GB RAM might make FCPX look better.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #3
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Re: When working with XDCAM, FCP X performance worse than FCP 7?

Hardware is a quad core i7 2.7 ghz iMac from 2010 (if I'm not mistaken) with 8GB RAM, on 10.0.8...
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Old August 21st, 2012, 12:32 AM   #4
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Re: When working with XDCAM, FCP X performance worse than FCP 7?

I suspect it's hardware.

Any system built before X was introduced will have issues. It will certainly run pretty well, but X is optimized to leverage the latest GPUs.

There are posts from lots of folks who were having decent results, then when they upgraded their system to the current generation of hardware (largely MacBook Pros) they've indicated it's a whole new ballgame.

I run it most often on my MBP - which was the generation right before thunderbolt - and it runs smooth and fast - but the guys with the retina display units are all saying those scream.

FWIW.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 03:29 PM   #5
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Re: When working with XDCAM, FCP X performance worse than FCP 7?

I see what you are saying, but I think there must be an issue in the software's handling of XDCAM too if FCP 7 plays this all fine on the same hardware.
And to be honest: I have a Quad Core 2.7 i7 iMac with 8GB RAM, and a MBP 13" i5 with 8GB RAM. This is all very new hardware.
I have heard that the new FCP X indeed is very fast on a Retina Macbook Pro, but - and don't take this personally Bill, it's just a general remark - every time I see some bad things about FCP X's performance (and it's often with XDCAM format), people say: ah but it all screams on a Retina Macbook Pro.

I don't think everyone should just buy a system that's just 2 months old, or everyone should have a flash drive. If FCP 7 can play it smoothly without a problem, then FCP X, which is in theory much more able to make use of all the hardware that I have in my computer, should be able to do the same (at least).
I've had some issues with FCP X performance with XDCAM formats, even without taking the multicam-feature in the mix. But of course, as a reasonably sized company, we cannot just upgrade all our camera's to other formats than XDCAM. (btw: this is not an issue anyhow, because I don't use FCP X for the company's jobs, mostly for thinkering small jobs outside the company, but performance tests like this don't help in trying to envision how FCP X would work for us)

BTW: I tried it on both the Macbook Pro and the iMac, both on the internal SATA drive and on the FW 800 7200 rpm drive.

Craig, at another job with FCP X, I tried using the camera importer from Sony of FCPX. But if I'm not mistaken, it converts all your material to Prores upon import, where the XDCAM transfer software just does a re-wrapping.
Correct me if I'm wrong.
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